Best Ice Fishing Rod

Best Ice Fishing Rod of 2019: Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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Ice fishing, although super cold no doubt, it also makes for a heck of a lot of fun, especially when you get to spend some time inside a neat little hut with your friends. That said, you do need the best ice fishing rod, and finding the perfect one is easier said than done. Well, today, we are here to help. Let's get to it and help you find the best ice fishing rod that the market has to offer!

Best Ice Fishing Rod Comparison Chart

Ugly Stik USSP602M30CB Shakespeare USSP602M/30CBO GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo, 6 Feet, Medium Power

St Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod (27", Medium-Light)

Frabill 6972 Combo Spin Fin-S Pro 30 Medium

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Fishing Kit (1.8M-5.91Ft fishing rod and reel)

Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Fishing Rod, 6'6" - Medium Light - 1pcs

 

Best Ice Fishing Rods: Reviews

13 Fishing Whiteout Ice Combo

If you are on the hunt for a really affordable and fairly basic ice fishing pole and reel combo, one that may not cost very much, but still gets the job done by all means, then this 13 Fishing Whiteout Ice Combo is a great option to keep in mind.

Product Highlights

To start off with the rod itself, the 13 Fishing Whiteout Ice Fishing Rod is 23.5 inches long, so short enough to fit in any small ice fishing hut, and short enough to be maneuverable, but also long enough to get a decent amount of leverage over fish.

Next, when it comes to the action of the rod, it’s an ultra-light action rod, which means that it is super sensitive, thus allowing you to feel nibbles and strikes with ease. This ultra-fast action also allows you to quickly set the hook with ease, although this rod is not the best for reeling in very heavy fish, especially ones that are going to fight you.

That being said, the 13 Fishing Whiteout Ice Fishing Rod is made with 24T carbon material, so it is quite durable, but more so, it’s very sensitive and allows you to feel even the smallest of strikes, while also remaining fairly lightweight too. As far as the guides go, here you get lightweight electric blue guides, as well as a high-quality Hidden evolve reel seat, and yes, if necessary, you can change out the reel itself if desired.

In terms of the reel itself, it’s a nice 5 ball bearing reel, so it is fairly smooth at retrieving line, and hopefully, a fish too. Moreover, it’s got a pretty high gear ratio, which means that you can reel in fish really quick. It’s a composite fishing reel with an aluminum spool and an EVA knob, plus it features an instant anti-reverse too.

All in all, while it’s not the highest performing or most durable reel out there, for basic ice fishing needs, it should get the job done just fine.

The Good

What we really like about the 13 Fishing Whiteout Ice Combo is that it is something that is great for beginners and for people just getting into ice fishing. No, it’s not the most powerful or durable rod and reel combo out there, but it’s lightweight, super easy to use, great for smaller prey, and you get both a rod and a reel for a very low price.

The Bad

The bad part about the 13 Fishing Whiteout Ice Combo is that the whole thing does lack some durability, and it’s definitely not designed for hauling in larger fish, so that is something to keep in mind.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Super sensitive
  • Fast line retrieve
  • Great for smaller fish
  • Amazing price for a rod and reel

Cons

  • Limited durability
  • Not ideal for larger fish

St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod

Here we have a nice little ice fishing rod, this time without any sort of reel, just the rod. Now, the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod costs as much as the combo above, more actually, but doesn’t have a reel included. That said, this is a really nice rod, which is true for a number of reasons.

Product Highlights

The St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod is available in 3 different sizes, including 27, 30, and 36 inches. This is nice because the shorter options are best for really tight and enclosed spaces where you don’t have a lot of room to work with, but aren’t great for the larger fish, and the longer rod options are generally best if you have some room to work with, want to have good leverage over fighting fish, and want to haul in those big guys.

Moreover, the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod comes in various power options, including medium, medium-light, and medium-heavy. The lighter power rods are best for smaller fish and the heavier power rods for larger fish, so once again, the choice here is up to you.

What we can say is that the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod is an ultra-sensitive rod. It has a fast action design, which makes it very sensitive, and it also has a super-sensitive carbon handle, which means that with this rod, you can feel even the smallest of nibbles and strikes with relative ease.

We do want to say that the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod is made in the USA, and it is very durable, no doubt. It’s made with a precision taper carbon blank that should be able to stand up to some serious punishment, plus it has Kargon stripper guides for smooth line retrieval. Keep in mind that the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod is specifically designed for jigging.

The Good

The good part about the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod is that it comes in various sizes and power options. Moreover, the fast action design of it, combined with the carbon handle, make this thing super sensitive so you’ll always feel strikes and nibbles. Moreover, this thing is actually quite durable too.

The Bad

What we really don’t like about the St. Croix Avid Jigging Series Ice Fishing Rod is that it has no reel seat, with literally no good way to attach a rod apart from a makeshift setup you would have to put together on your own.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Various length and power options
  • Fast action design for sensitivity
  • Easy to feel nibbles with
  • Great for jigging

Cons

  • Absolutely no reel seat

Frabill Fin-S Pro Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Alright, so here we are going back to a rod and reel combo for ice fishing, and yes, the Frabill Fin-S Pro Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is a super high-quality option. With that being said, it’s also way more expensive than anything we have looked at so far today.

Product Highlights

To start off with the reel, here you get a pretty nice reel, one made mainly out of machined aluminum, so it is fairly durable. Something cool about the reel here is that it is made to perform in the coldest of temperatures with ease, without seizing up, and without requiring any special kind of lubricant. The Frabill reel included here features 3 + 1 ball bearings, which is not the most out there, but enough to create a smooth retrieval for many different fish.

What also stands out is that this reel can be used by both left and right handed people, thanks to the ambidextrous folding handle. The tapered drag knob helps you adjust this reel to deal with the specific size and energy of the fish you are looking to haul in. All in all, we think that the reel included here is very nice.

When you buy the Frabill Fin-S Pro Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, you do, of course, also get a rod, and quite a nice one if we do say so ourselves. Now, keep in mind that the rod here is 30 inches long, which is generally a good size for basic ice fishing purposes. It can handle more than just the smallest of fish, maybe the not the largest fish, especially when it comes to leverage, but it’s also quite lightweight, maneuverable, and works quite well in tight spaces too.

Moreover, the rod included here is made with a solid carbon fiber blank, which is ultra-sensitive. The rod itself is extremely sensitive, and it allows you to quickly set a hook as well, which is thanks both to the fast action design of it, as well as the carbon fiber material. In terms of power, it’s a medium power rod, which means it might not be best for the very smallest or very largest of fish, but should be fine for everything in between.

We do like how the cork grips here provide solid grip, but they do cut down on sensitivity a bit. Everything else, including the reel seat and guides, are perfectly fine and get the job done without question.

The Good

What we really like here is that this Frabill Fin-S Pro Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is ideal for most kinds of ice fishing. It’s not too long or too short, too heavy or too light, it’s just in the middle, and therefore should be ideal for most people, plus it’s durable too.

The Bad

What we don’t like about the Frabill Fin-S Pro Ice Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is that it is very expensive. For most people, it’s probably too pricey, especially when the drag knob might get stuck.

Pros

  • Quite durable
  • Great for most ice fishing needs
  • Great cold weather reel
  • Rod ideal for most kinds of fish
  • Super sensitive rod

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Some issues with the drag knob

Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

Here we have an awesome little ice fishing rod, one that comes in at a reasonable price, it comes in various lengths and power options, and it absolutely gets the job done. As far as we are concerned, when it comes to rods alone, the Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is one of the very best.

Product Highlights

What we do want to mention is that the Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is quite versatile in the sense that it comes in various lengths and power ratings including a 16” light, a 23” ultra-light, a 28” medium heavy, a 28” medium-light, a 36” medium, a 36” medium-heavy, and a 42” medium.

As you can see, this thing comes in lengths ideal for either big-time leverage, small spaces, and maneuverability, or a bit of both, which can also be said for the power ratings, with some being best for small fish and some for larger ones.

Now, personally, we really like the 16” light or 23” ultralight options. This is because they do make it much easier for you to maneuver in tight spaces. No, these short and light options are not the best for big fighting fish, but they perform super well for the small guys. The Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod, especially the shorter options, are also extremely sensitive.

The high modulus carbon fiber blanks used here are great for transferring vibrations, plus the short rods here have very fast action, thus increasing their sensitivity even more. It means that you can easily feel nibbles, even the smallest ones, plus setting a hook in a fish is about as fast as it gets with this thing.

The smoked stainless steel guides with zirconium oxide inserts are fantastic for cold-weather fishing, quite durable, and very smooth too. Something else which stands out here is the awesome cork handle, which is super durable and provides good grip, although it does cut down on sensitivity a bit. The down locking reel seat is cool because it allows you to attach any reel your heart desires.

The Good

The good part about the Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is that it comes in at a reasonable price, yet still comes with a high level of quality. There are plenty of length and power options to choose from, all of which are very durable, lightweight, and have awesome sensitivity too.

The Bad

Something which is not great about the Fenwick Elite Tech Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is that the cork handle does decrease sensitivity a little bit, plus the guides are known for bending when too much pressure is applied.

Pros

  • Overall very durable
  • Many lengths and power options
  • Fast action
  • Very sensitive and easy to set hooks
  • Good price
  • Handle has a good grip

Cons

  • Guides have some issues
  • Handle may decrease sensitivity a bit

 

Celsius Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combo

Ok, so here we have what is by far the least expensive ice fishing rod and reel combo on our list today, and maybe actually in the whole world. Beware folks; this is more of a Christmas gift or a toy for a child that will ice fish a couple times, or maybe as an introductory rod and reel combo for an adult, but not for the serious angler.

Product Highlights

One thing that can be said about this thing is that it is very lightweight, lighter than anything else we have looked at today so far. It’s definitely something that a small child could use with ease. The Celsius Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combo is not only lightweight, but also very short, more than short enough for a child or small person to handle, and short enough to be super maneuverable, even in a very tight space.

The rod here is a fast action rod, and it’s made out of fiberglass, so it should be quite sensitive. Indeed, it is sensitive enough to feel small nibbles with ease, plus it is also pretty good for quick hook setting. However, it doesn’t have much power to it, so it really only works for the smallest of fishing, but not for anything larger or for a fish that is going to put up a fight.

Now, with that all that being said, the Celsius Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combo is definitely not the most durable option out there. As you might have realized, while you can do some ice fishing with it, it’s more of a toy than anything else.

When it comes to the reel here, yeah, it works well enough to haul in a small fish, and it’s durable enough to last a season or two, especially with limited use, but not, it’s nothing special. It comes pre-spooled with some line, has a pretty good retrieval rate, and is very easy to use, but it has limited durability and is not made for hauling in a big catch.

The Good

We do like the Celsius Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combo for a few reasons, mainly because it’s super inexpensive and makes for a good present for a child or someone who just wants to try ice fishing. Moreover, it is super lightweight, maneuverable, and sensitive, so there is that.

The Bad

What we don’t like about the Celsius Ice Fishing Rod & Reel Combo is that it is really more of a toy than anything else. It’s not very durable, it’s not meant for big fish, and how well it stands up to the cold is questionable at best.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Maneuverable
  • Sensitive
  • Very inexpensive

Cons  

  • Not durable
  • Not for big fish
  • Not for serious ice fishing

Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

Alright, so the Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is actually the least expensive ice fishing rod on our list so far, although, unlike the above rod and reel combo, this is not a toy and can be used for more serious ice fishing purposes, but it does not come with a reel included.

Product Highlights

The Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is a 24 inch long rod with ultra-lightweight power. We do like this rod for really enclosed spaces where there is not much room to maneuver, as it is only 2 feet long in total, so it’s more than short enough for a small ice fishing hut and to be maneuverable.

Moreover, its ultra-lightweight power rating makes it really ideal for catching small fish. Now, the Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is short and lightweight, so it won’t provide you with much power or leverage for fighting large fish, so just keep that in mind, but it is a great option for smaller prey.

The Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is made of fiberglass, the blank, which is nice because fiberglass is both quite durable and sensitive too. Now, it’s not the most durable rod out there, that we do have to say, but it’s also not made for big fish.

It’s a small and really sensitive rod that is ideal for feeling even the smallest of nibbles, and of course, for really fast hook setting too. It’s just not designed to fight heavy fish though, but works awesomely for small prey.

The Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod features a full cork double handle, so you can hold onto it well, and you won’t freeze your fingers off either, although it’s not the most sensitive handle around. We do like how the Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod comes with stainless steel guides and inserts, plus the graphite sliding reel seat is nice too, because it allows you to connect a variety of reels to it.

The Good

What we really like about the Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is that it is super lightweight, very sensitive, easy to maneuver, and very inexpensive too. It’s the perfect little ice fishing rod for occasional ice fishing and going after small fish.

The Bad

What is not great about the Berkley Cherrywood HD Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is that it can’t handle big fish, not even remotely large fish. It’s only made for small prey, and depending on where you want to go fishing, that can, of course, be a big problem. Also, the handle could be a bit more sensitive.

Pros

  • Decent durability
  • Super sensitive
  • Easy hook setting
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • affordable

Cons

  • Not for big fish
  • Not much power at all

Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod

Here we have another fairly affordable ice fishing rod, a bit more expensive than the one above, but it’s also a bit more versatile, comes with a lot of length and power options, and has length and power ratings designed for small, medium, and somewhat large fish.

Product Highlights

The Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod, this particular one, is a 26 inch medium-light fishing rod. Now, we do like this particular option because the length is long enough to provide you with a bit of leverage over larger fighting fish, although not a huge amount, but it’s also short and lightweight enough to be considered fairly maneuverable and ideal for tight spaces.

That being said, here you can also go for a shorter 23 inch ultralight rod, or a 28 inch medium-heavy rod. As you can see, here there is a rod for every type of ice fishing, except maybe for the very largest of fish. However, this kind of choice is something that does come in handy. Now, although there are some options here designed for larger fish, in the grand scheme of things, this is a mid-range rod ideal for small and medium-size fish.

In terms of action and sensitivity, these are all fairly fast action rods, and they feature high modulus graphite blanks. The material here is fairly durable, although not as durable as some others, but it is super sensitive. The material, combined with the fast action design, means that it’s really easy to feel nibbles with this thing, and it’s also a very fast hook setter too, both big bonuses when it comes to ice fishing, especially when going for smaller fish.

Something that stands out here is that the Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod comes with custom made handles with premium AAA cork, which is very durable, decently sensitive, and comfortable to hold as well.

The black stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts are quite smooth and allow the line to move freely, and they stand up to cold weather quite well too, although durability is a bit limited. The reel seat is another nice addition here, as it's designed to allow for a variety of reels to be used.

The Good

We do really like the Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod because it’s actually quite the high-performance option considering how low the price of it is. In terms of value for the money spent, you do get a whole lot here. It’s a great little rod for small and medium-size fish, with awesome sensitivity, maneuverability, and hook setting power.

The Bad

The bad part about the Fenwick HMG Ice Fishing Spinning Rod is that you probably won’t be able to land big and fighting fish with it. Moreover, the durability of the rod, in general, is not quite what we expect or need from this kind of thing.

Pros

  • Nice handle
  • Very sensitive
  • Easy hook setting
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Good for tight spaces
  • affordable

Cons

  • Generally not ideal for large fish
  • Should not be used for saltwater

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo

Here we have yet another super affordable ice fishing rod, this one, a combo which also comes with the reel included. For the low price which the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo comes in at, it’s actually quite the impressive little item.

Product Highlights

This particular option is a 26 inch light power rod, but there are others to choose with. Generally speaking, for ice fishing, we do prefer the shorter and lighter power rods, as they tend to be lightweight, easy to maneuver, and better for tighter conditions. Light power might not be best for large or fighting fish, but is certainly ideal for small fish, sensitivity, and quick hook sets.

That said, here you can also get a 30 inch medium heavy or a 28 inch medium power rod as well. The choice is yours, and we do like this kind of choice, because it means you can choose the one that suits your needs the best.

In terms of the rod construction, this thing is made with a graphite blank, so although it’s not the very most durable rod around, it does have the advantage of being super sensitive and lightweight. Moreover, the action rating here is fast, which means that it helps increase sensitivity even more, so you can easily feel small nibbles and set your hook with speed and ease as well. It’s got a really lightweight feel, and it’s well balanced too.

In terms of the reel included with the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo, no, it’s nothing fancy or the best around, but it does get the job done just fine, especially for the low price which this thing comes in at.

It’s only got one ball bearing, so it works fine for small fish, but it’s not the smoothest around. It’s made with machined aluminum, so it is durable enough to last for a couple of seasons. It’s a basic spinning reel for ice fishing, one that works just fine.

The Good

The good part about the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo is that you get a pretty decent rod and decent reel for a reasonable price. Yeah, it’s not exactly a high-end option, far from it really, but considering the awesome price it comes in at, you really cannot expect any more from it.

The Bad

What is not great about the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo is that it’s just not the most durable, which is true more or less in every way. It’s not something you want to use for larger fish, extreme weather conditions, or for really long term use.

Pros

  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Several length and power options
  • Sensitive blank
  • Good for feeling nibbles and hook setting
  • Rod and reel for a low price

Cons

  • Not ideal for big fish or long term use
  • Limited durability

Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Combo

This is another rod and reel combo for ice fishing, with this one costing about twice as much as the previous one we just looked at. Now, it’s still not very expensive, but with the slightly increased price does also come higher functionality and durability.

Product Highlights

The Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Combo comes with quite a nice reel, one made with a machined aluminum spool that can easily stand up to the cold. The reel here features a 3 + 1 ball bearing count, so it does have a decent level of smoothness and allows for easy retrieval.

The gear ratio on this thing is also quite high, which may not be best for large fish, but it works well for small fish that you want to haul in quickly. Moreover, this reel features a durable Everlast bail system combined with adjustable drag for different types of fish.

When it comes to the rod included in the Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Combo, here you can choose from a 25 inch ultralight, a 27 inch medium light, a 29 inch medium, and a 29 inch ultralight.

We do like this kind of selection, but as tends to be the case with ice fishing rods, the shorter and lighter power rods are usually best, so we would recommend the 25 inch ultralight, which is fine for small fish, but of course not for large ones. In terms of action, the rod here is fast action, so you can easily feel nibbles from small fish, plus hook setting is made fast and easy too.

The 24 ton graphite blank used here, although not the most durable in the world, is also very sensitive, which helps with feeling nibbles, plus it’s very lightweight too. It comes complete with smoked SS guide frames with aluminum oxide inserts that run very smooth, although once again, it could be more durable. The split-grip high-density EVA handle is very comfortable to hold, and is somewhat sensitive, but again, not the most durable.

The Good

We do like how here you get the Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Combo for a very decent price, and you get both a rod and reel. Besides somewhat limited durability, this is an all-around great ice fishing combo in all regards, one we would highly recommend.

The Bad

As mentioned several times now, the only thing we really do not like about the Abu Garcia Veritas 3.0 Ice Fishing Combo, is that the graphite rod, the guides, and a couple of other components aren’t the most durable out there.

Pros

  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Quite sensitive
  • Easy hook setting
  • Various length and power options
  • Smooth reel
  • Fast retrieval

Cons

  • Limited durability
  • Some issues with the guides

Akataka Ice Fishing Rod

Here we have a simple, affordable, and fairly basic ice fishing rod that works well for smaller fish and small spaces.

Product Highlights

The Akataka Ice Fishing Rod comes in 2 different lengths, 24 and 26 inches, both of which are more than short and lightweight enough to be easy to maneuver, good for tight spaces, and won’t cause much fatigue either. This particular ice fishing rod is made with a carbon fiber rod body, which helps keep the weight down.

Now, it’s not the most durable option out there right now, but what we can say is that it is very sensitive. This material, combined with the fact that the action of this rod is fairly fast, means that it is very easy to set hooks with, and it’s even easier to feel those small nibbles too.

The power rating of this rod is something like medium-light, so it’s a good option to go with for small and small-medium size fish. The blank here features stainless steel guides that are fairly smooth; they stand up to cold and rust with ease, and are actually decently durable too.

We do also like the reel seat, as it is designed to fit most reels. The split handle cork grips here are great for holding onto, and decently comfortable too, very durable, but maybe not the most sensitive.

The Good

The good part about the Akataka Ice Fishing Rod is that you get an all-around decent ice fishing rod for a great price. It’s not the fanciest option out there, but it works just fine, especially for smaller fish.

The Bad

The bad part about the Akataka Ice Fishing Rod is that the durability of it is somewhat limited, and it’s definitely not designed to handle large fish.

Pros

  • Good length for ice fishing
  • Very sensitive
  • Easy hook setting
  • Maneuverable and lightweight
  • Good handle

Cons

  • Not for big fish
  • Limited durability

 

Buyer’s Guide

Before you go out and just buy the first ice fishing rod you see, there are some important purchasing factors to keep in mind. Let’s talk about what you should be looking for in an ice fishing rod right now.

Power

Something you always want to pay attention to when buying an ice fishing rod is what kind of power rating it has. Power ratings usually include ultra-light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and ultra-heavy. Simply put, the more power the rod in question has, the bigger of fish it is made to handle, and vice versa, so it’s important to know what kind of fish you are aiming to catch.

Base Material

Another thing you want to look into here is what the base material of the rod is made out of. On one hand, you have fiberglass rods, which are generally a bit slower and heavier, more durable, and ideal for larger fish. The more popular choice is usually a graphite rod, as they still have decent durability, not quite as much, but are also lighter and more sensitive. The choice here is up to you.

Size

Something very important to keep in mind for ice fishing rods is the size, specifically the length of the rod in question. Ice fishing generally takes place in small huts with small holes in the ice, which means that there is limited room to maneuver. This means that the shorter the rod, usually, the better, because it allows for more maneuverability. That being said, longer rods are generally better for getting more leverage on larger fish.

Handle

The next thing to think about here is the handle. Some people like cork and some like carbon handles, others EVA foam. Now, cork is generally considered best, because it’s most durable and has decent sensitivity, and is quite comfy too, although carbon handles tend to be way more sensitive, yet less comfy to hold. Foam handles, while being super comfortable, are neither very durable nor sensitive.

Spool

When looking for the reel, always look for a spool that is made with something like machined aluminum, something that can stand up to the cold. You do need a high-quality reel for this kind of thing, as cold weather can be quite taxing on reels.

Bearing Number

The number of ball bearings which an ice fishing reel comes with is important too. Generally speaking, the more bearings a reel comes with, the smoother and faster it works. However, the quality of the bearings makes a difference too. A good mix between quality and quantity is what you should aim for.

Weight

A lightweight ice fishing rod is usually best, especially if you are not using a stand. The lighter the rod, the easier it is to work with, and the longer you can use it for without getting tired. Of course, a super lightweight rod might not be best for hauling in those really large fish.

Durability

Of course, you do want both a reel and rod that is durable. That said, there are many durable materials and components out there, so you do want to just read some reviews to see how these things hold up.

Comfort

Comfort is another big factor too, because when ice fishing, you will be in that hut for quite some time. A lightweight rod that is well balanced, combined with a soft and comfy handle is what you want to look for if comfort is very important to you.

Action & Sensitivity

Finally, the other thing you should be looking for here is that you get a rod that has fast or ultra-fast action. This means that it bends close to the tip and is very sensitive, thus allowing you to feel small nibbles with ease and to set your hook really fast.

FAQ

What ice fishing gear is essential?

There are a few essential pieces of ice fishing gear to keep in mind, with of course, the ice fishing rod and reel being the most important. That said, you also need bait and lures ideal for ice fishing, you need a drill to make a hole in the ice, an ice fishing hut doesn’t work, and you need safety gear too. A stand for your rod, so you don’t have to hold it can be beneficial too.

How do I pick an ice fishing location?

For one, always check weather and ice reports to see how thick and stable the ice is where you are planning on going. Next, take a look at some fishing charts to see the species and density of fish in any given area. Talking to local fishing communities will give you a good idea of where to ice fish as well.

Where should I drill, and how many holes?

Something to keep in mind here is that you want to drill a hole where the water is relatively still. Ice near running water and heavy currents will be thinner and weaker. Try to aim for areas where there are structures like tree stumps and rocks under the surface of the ice, as this is where many fish will gather.

How long should I fish a hole?

Most people will spend about 1 hour at any given ice fishing hole before trying a new one. If you don’t feel so much as a nibble after an hour, move onto the next hole.

What Are The Benefits of Ice Fishing?

The benefits of ice fishing include being able to catch fish, you would not otherwise be able to catch, getting to spend time with friends, and seeing who can keep warm the longest.

How Can I Handle And Test My Rod?

The only way to really test out any rod is by using it. Try different lures and lines, and just see how it performs. This usually always comes down to individual personal preferences, so when all is said and done, it’s really up to you.

What Are Carbon Fibre Rods?

Carbon fiber is a type of polymer, often known as graphite. It’s a lightweight material with exceptional sensitivity, and a decent level of durability too.

Why It’s Important To Pick A Well Balanced Rod?

A well-balanced rod is beneficial mainly because it helps keep you comfy and reduces the amount of fatigue suffered over long periods of time.

How Do I Know What Type Of Rod To Use With What Type Of Fish?

It really all comes down to action and power, more or less. Fast action rods are great for feeling nibbles and hook setting, but are not best for fighting big fish. Heavy power rods are designed for big fish, and light power rods for small fish. Generally speaking, longer rods will also work better for bigger fish.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, your choice really depends on what your personal needs and preferences are, mainly the type and size of fish you are aiming for. Making a recommendation here is a bit hard, as we have covered so many options, many of which are quite similar.

Something we would actually recommend is going for the rod and reel combos, as they tend to be pretty decent all around and cost-effective too.

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